March 2009

Oak Grove Nature Center

presents an event to celebrate the


hosted by the

Stockton Astronomical Society (SAS)


Saturday, April 4th

7:00 – 9:30 pm


 Meet inside the Nature Center at 7pm.

Gerald Hyatt, SAS, will present his slideshow,

  “Lakota Skies”, Native American folklore of the stars.

  SAS members will provide telescopes for outside  viewing.


 Oak Grove Regional Park

I-5 and Eight Mile Road

Program is free / $5 parking fee per vehicle



                Event will be cancelled if it is cloudy or raining.             

Please call (209) 953-8814 to reserve a space.

 For information on upcoming Oak Grove Nature Center

programs, visit



Conni Bock pointed this one out to me… perhaps we can tie our future water quality sampling program into this.

What a great way to help students see how useful their data is, and how it connects them to other communities around the world!

– Jeremy

The GLOBE Program

GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school-based science and education program. GLOBE’s vision promotes and supports students, teachers and scientists to collaborate on inquiry-based investigations of the environment and the Earth system working in close partnership with NASA and NSF Earth System Science Projects (ESSPs) in study and research about the dynamics of Earth’s environment.

Who is involved in GLOBE?

 Announced in 1994, GLOBE began operations on Earth Day 1995. Today, the international GLOBE network has grown to include representatives from 110 participating countries and 139 U.S. Partners coordinating GLOBE activities that are integrated into their local and regional communities. Due to their efforts, there are more than 40000 GLOBE-trained teachers representing over 20000 schools around the world. GLOBE students have contributed more than 19 million measurements to the GLOBE database for use in their inquiry-based science projects.

GLOBE brings together students, teachers and scientists through the GLOBE Schools Network in support of student learning and research. Parents and other community members often work with teachers to help students obtain data on days when schools are not open.

Outdoors notebook
By Peter Ottesen – Record Staff Writer

March 24, 2009

Canoe trips will discover remote Delta Outdoors enthusiasts have the chance to explore one of the few remaining natural islands in the Delta on a canoe tour led by a California State Park guide on Saturdays and Sundays through May 17.

“Participants will learn a few basic canoeing skills and then explore the Delta Meadows River Park area looking for otter, beaver, muskrat, birds and other wildlife,” parks spokesman John Arnold said. “Delta Natural History Association, a non-profit organization, is co-sponsor of the Delta Canoe Tour Program.”

Two tours, running two to three hours, are offered each day starting at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Cost of the tour is $20. Participants must be at least 8 years old.

Information: Brannan Island State Recreation Area, (916) 777-7701

The Oak Grove Nature Center Is pleased to offer a Natives Skills Class.

Lucy Parker- Instructor (Yosemite/Coast Miwok/Mono Lake Paiute/Kashaya Pomo)


Lucy Parker is a resident of Lee Vining, CA. Lucy began her basket tradition as a 7-year old, watching her mother, grandmothers and aunts as they gathered to weave baskets and make acorn. She is an active and accomplished teacher, demonstrator and lecturer traveling throughout California and the United States teaching and sharing her knowledge. She makes baskets from traditional California materials using both twining and coiling. She is also a former Chairperson of the California Indian Basketweavers Association. She also works closely with her mother, Dr. Julia Parker (Coast Miwok/Kashaya Pomo), a Master weaver and cultural specialist.


The Class is limited to 25 students, 16 years old and up, please register early.

Registration Fee: $50.00 (Persons of California Indian Heritage – $40.00)

Pre-purchased “Tool Kit”: $10.00 (includes water tray, spray bottle, awl, sm.razor knife and scissors)

Please make checks payable to:

Oak Grove Docent Council (*Parking fee: $5.00*)

Mail to:

Oak Grove Nature Center/Basketry Class
4520 W. Eight Mile Rd.
Stockton, CA. 95209

You may supply your own tools, please bring a towel for yourself & a chair or mat to sit on. Some snacks will be provided, consider bringing a sack lunch.

Print this, fill it out, and mail it with your check:


Name ____________________________________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________________________


E-mail _____________________________________

Call (209) 953-8814 for more information.

Alex Breitler’s Blog                                                                                                            Mar-20

Thirst for news                                                                                                                     

Two wells of water news today. When is there a day WITHOUT water news?

• The feds upped allocations for south San Joaquin Valley farms, though folks on the westside are still looking dry. Read on from AP:

“FRESNO, Calif. (AP) – Many farmers, cities and industries in California that buy water from the federal government can expect to get a little more this summer.

The Bureau of Reclamation says recent storms will allow them to boost the amount of water shipped to customers north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

But farmers on the San Joaquin Valley’s parched west side still will get none of their federal water allotments this year. The cutbacks have already led to jobs losses, fallowed fields and water rationing. …

February rain and snow storms boosted reservoirs and brought the Sierra Nevada snowpack to about 90 percent of normal.

Still, state officials warn California remains in a dangerous drought. Water also must be reserved for fish in the fragile delta ecosystem. ”


• The state released the final version of its Delta Risk Management Strategy report, determining a 50 percent chance that 20 islands in the Delta would flood after a 6.7-magnitude quake, which the U.S.G.S. has said is coming sooner or later.

Delta locals tend to feel the state overestimates the levee risk, making the situation seem more dire than it is, thus justifying Delta “improvements” like a peripheral canal.

Read the report for yourself, if you dare. It’s massive


Please join Mayor Ann Johnston for an evening of conversation. Everyone is welcome! Come with your questions and share your thoughts and ideas about the City of Stockton [and the Calaveras River].

Date: Wednesday, March 25th
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Troke Library 502 W. Benjamin Holt Dr.

For information, please call:

Connie Cochran
Public Information Officer
(209) 937-8827

Washington, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today released the first ever comprehensive report on bird populations in the United States, showing that nearly a third of the nation’s 800 bird species are endangered, threatened or in significant decline due to habitat loss, invasive species, and other threats.

At the same time, the report highlights examples, including many species of waterfowl, where habitat restoration and conservation have reversed previous declines, offering hope that it is not too late to take action to save declining populations.

“Just as they were when Rachel Carson published Silent Spring nearly 50 years ago, birds today are a bellwether of the health of land, water and ecosystems,” Salazar said. “From shorebirds in New England to warblers in Michigan to songbirds in Hawaii, we are seeing disturbing downward population trends that should set off environmental alarm bells. We must work together now to ensure we never hear the deafening silence in our forests, fields and backyards that Rachel Carson warned us about.”

The report, The U.S. State of the Birds, synthesizes data from three long-running bird censuses conducted by thousands of citizen scientists and professional biologists.

In particular, it calls attention to the crisis in Hawaii, where more birds are in danger of extinction than anywhere else in the United States. In addition, the report indicates a 40 percent decline in grassland birds over the past 40 years, a 30 percent decline in birds of aridlands, and high concern for many coastal shorebirds. Furthermore, 39 percent of species dependent on U.S. oceans have declined.

“Habitats such as those in Hawaii are on the verge of losing entire suites of unique bird species,” said Dr. David Pashley, American Bird Conservancy’s Vice President for Conservation Programs. “In addition to habitat loss, birds also face many other man-made threats such as pesticides, predation by cats, and collisions with windows, towers and buildings. By solving these challenges we can preserve a growing economic engine – the popular pastime of birdwatching that involves millions of Americans – and improve our quality of life.”

However, the report also reveals convincing evidence that birds can respond quickly and positively to conservation action. The data show dramatic increases in many wetland birds such as pelicans, herons, egrets, osprey, and ducks, a testament to numerous cooperative conservation partnerships that have resulted in protection, enhancement and management of more than 30 million wetland acres.

“These results emphasize that investment in wetlands conservation has paid huge dividends,” said Kenneth Rosenberg, director of Conservation Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Now we need to invest similarly in other neglected habitats where birds are undergoing the steepest declines.”

“While some bird species are holding their own, many once common species are declining sharply in population. Habitat availability and quality is the key to healthy, thriving bird populations,” said Dave Mehlman of The Nature Conservancy.

Surveys conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey, including the annual Breeding Bird Survey, combined with data gathered through volunteer citizen science program such as the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, show once abundant birds such as the northern bobwhite and marbled murrelet are declining significantly. The possibility of extinction also remains a cold reality for many endangered birds.

“Citizen science plays a critical role in monitoring and understanding the threats to these birds and their habitats, and only citizen involvement can help address them,” said National Audubon Society’s Bird Conservation Director, Greg Butcher. “Conservation action can only make a real difference when concerned people support the kind of vital habitat restoration and protection measures this report explores.”

Birds are beautiful, as well as economically important and a priceless part of America’s natural heritage. Birds are also highly sensitive to environmental pollution and climate change, making them critical indicators of the health of the environment on which we all depend.

The United States is home to a tremendous diversity of native birds, with more than 800 species inhabiting terrestrial, coastal, and ocean habitats, including Hawaii. Among these species, 67 are Federally-listed as endangered or threatened. In addition, more than 184 species are designated as species of conservation concern due to a small distribution, high-level of threats, or declining populations.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service coordinated creation of the new report as part of the U.S. North American Bird Conservation Initiative, which includes partners from American Bird Conservancy, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Klamath Bird Observatory, National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The report is available at

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